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Frank Stattler

From BR Bullpen

  • Bats Right, Throws Right

Biographical Information[edit]

Frank Stattler is a member of the German Baseball Hall of Fame.

Stattler was not a pitcher at first, being told that pitchers had to throw overhand and he threw sidearm. When his team was shorthanded one game, he was used on the mound and impressed, giving him more opportunities, moving up to the top league in Germany (Bundesliga-1). [1] The first season for which Bundesliga-1 stats are available, 1994, he was 8-8 with two saves and a 6.39 ERA for the Kapellen Turtles, hitting .310/.383/.524. He was third in the high-scoring Bundesliga-1 South in ERA, behind Alexander Dundik and Martin Helmig. He easily led in K (116, 53 ahead of Helmig), tied Helmig and Dundik for 2nd in wins (one behind Klaus Knüttel), tied for 2nd in losses, led in IP (101 1/3, 19 2/3 ahead of the runner-up), led in K:BB ratio (3.41:1; Helmig was next at 2.42:1) and was 3rd in WHIP (after Dundik and Helmig). [2]

In 1995, he did not bat much but was 9-1 with a 3.36 ERA for the champion Trier Cardinals. He was 2nd in ERA (.48 behind teammate Stefan Fechtig, over 1 ahead of the #3), 2nd in K (66, 49 behind Knüttel), tied Knüttel for 2nd in wins (two shy of Fechtig), 1st in WHIP (1.14, .06 ahead of Fechtig). [3]

He debuted for the German national team in the 1995 European Championship. In his first start, he faced a fellow Frank, Frank Mathijs of Belgium. He went 4 2/3 innings and allowed two hits, four walks and three runs (none earned) while striking out two; Fechtig took over and took the loss. His other game, he went the distance in a seven-inning mercy rule win over Alekandre Riabikov and Ukraine, giving up only three hits, one walk and one run while striking out five. He was 3rd on Germany in ERA behind Michael DeGelmini and Knüttel. Among qualifiers in those Euros, only DeGelmini had a better ERA than his 0.77; next was Yury Zhirov at 1.50. His .122 opponent average was 3rd (after DeGelmini and Erik Lommerde) and he was 4th in WHIP (after Lommerde, Guillaume Coste and Dante Carbini). [4]

Stattler again dominated for the 1996 Cardinals as they repeated: 8-2, 1.75 ERA, .93 WHIP. He led the southern Bundesliga-1 in ERA (.53 ahead of Helmig), was 4th with 54 strikeouts (between Knüttel and Axel Schmitt), was 2nd in wins, tied Alexander Schnitzler for 3rd in IP (67), was 7th in K/IP (between Helmig and Schmitt), led in WHIP (.06 ahead of Helmig) and allowed the lowest average (.174; Dundik was next at .239). [5] He won both Best Pitcher and best pitcher in the finals. [6] He had 12-4, 3.12 record for the '97 Trier club. He was on the leaderboards in ERA (2nd, .99 behind Fechtig), strikeouts (82, 2nd), wins (1st, by 2), innings (83 2/3, 2nd, 2/3 behind Fechtig), 3rd in WHIP and 3rd in opponent average (.222). [7] He struggled for Germany in the 1997 European Championship, though, at 0-1, 6.43 with 10 walks in 7 innings. [8]

The Neuss native moved to the Bundesliga-1 north in 1998 with the Cologne Dodgers. He struck out 116 in 117 innings and went 13-4 with a 3.54 ERA. He was 3rd in ERA (after René Herlitzius and Fechtig, who had also gone south-to-north), 1st in strikeouts (11 ahead of Claus-Jan Hendricks), led in wins (one ahead of Michael Wäller), was 2nd in innings, led in opponent average (.251, .007 better than Wäller) and was 3rd in WHIP (behind Herlitzius and Fechtig). He won his third pennant. [9] In '99, he fell to 9-5, 4.09 and was among the league leaders for ERA (5th, between Wäller and Mirko Heid), K (87, 2nd, 33 behind Hendricks), wins (tied Fechtig for 3rd), losses (tied for 6th), innings (88, 3rd) and WHIP (5th). [10] He had a 1-1, 1.88 record for Germany in the 1999 European Championship. [11]

During 2000, he moved to the HSV Stealers and posted a 10-4, 3.06 record. He was 2nd in the north in ERA (.62 behind an American import), tied for 2nd with 71 strikeouts (10 behind Thorsten Wöhner), tied Fechtig for 1st in wins, 1st in IP (97, by 10 1/3), 1st in lowest walk rate (.22 BB/IP), 1st in WHIP (1.07, by .08) and 1st in opponent average (.228, by .07). He won his fourth Bundesliga title, now with three different teams. [12] To go with his Bundesliga-1 South Pitcher of the Year, he now won the award in the north as well. [13]

Frank led the league in wins for a 4th time, in 2001 (two ahead of Hendricks). He was 11-1, 1.03 in his return to the Dodgers. He was 2nd in ERA (.31 behind Will Rikard), 4th in K (68, between Wöhner and Rikard), 3rd in IP (78 1/3), 1st in K/BB ratio (4:1) and 2nd in WHIP (.94, .08 behind Rikard). He was 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA in the postseason [14] He won his third Pitcher of the Year. [15]

He struggled in the 2001 European Championship (12 H, 13 R, 12 ER, 7 BB, 2 K in 6 2/3 IP). His 16.20 ERA was not the highest on the staff; Robert Nichols was higher at 18.56. He was 0-2, tying for the event lead in losses. [16] In 2002, he was 6-1 with a 1.81 ERA in the regular season and 3-2, 2.51 in the postseason. He nearly won his second ERA title (.06 behind Fechtig, yet another 2nd-place finish, his third in a row). He was 6th with 47 K, tied for 7th in wins, was second to Wöhner in K rate and led in WHIP (1.07, .02 ahead of Fechtig). [17]

Stattler slipped to 4-3, 3.11 his fifth year with the Dodgers and 4-4, 2.08 in the postseason. He was second in ERA for the 4th year in a row (.66 behind Wäller), tied for 5th in strikeouts (35), was 9th in IP (37 2/3) and led in K rate (.93, .14 ahead of the runner-up). [18] In his final stint with the national team, he lasted only three innings over three games (one start), giving up four runs and going 0-1. [19]

Returning to HSV, he fell to 2-5, 4.27 in 2004, his first losing season (as far as stats are available). He was 10th in ERA, 4th in losses and 8th in WHIP (1.32). [20] In '05, he had a 3-6, 4.06 record, finishing among the leaders in K (69, 3rd), losses (tied for 5th), innings (75 1/3, between Dirk Fries and Heid), K/IP (.92, 4th, between Jens Cornelsen and Taiki Niimi), BB/IP (.31, 7th, between Andre Hughes and René Franke), WHIP (1.14, 4th, after Eugen Heilmann, Fries and Heid) and opponent average (.220, 3rd after Heilmann and Moritz Sckaer). [21] His last season was rough: 3-5, 8.33 for the Stealers. He was 9th in strikeouts (41, between Enorbel Marquez and Heilmann), tied for 5th in losses, still 2nd in K/IP (1.03, behind only Tim Henkenjohann) and 7th in WHIP (1.42). [22]

Overall, he was 98-49 with five saves and a 3.65 ERA in 143 Bundesliga games from 1994-2006, with 883 K in 935 1/3 IP and was even better in the postseason (22-10, 2.14). He had hit .228/.289/.402. For the national team, he was 2-3 with a 5.27 ERA in 11 games (9 starts). Through 2010 (when the German Baseball Federation last updated these records, as of 8/31/2021), he was tied with Helmut Oppelt for 12th in German national team annals in strikeouts (31), 10th in IP (42 2/3) and 10th in walks (27). [23]

In 2018, he made the German Baseball Hall of Fame in a class with Wäller, Mathias Winterrath and Knüttel. [24]

Sources[edit]

  1. Sidearm Nation
  2. 1994 Bundesliga-1 South leaders
  3. 1995 Bundesliga-1 South leaders
  4. Wayback Archive, Harry Wedemeijer's international baseball stats, 1995 European Championship
  5. 1996 Bundesliga-1 South leaders
  6. German Baseball and Softball Federation, Stattler page
  7. 1997 Bundesliga-1 South
  8. German Baseball and Softball Federation player page for Stattler
  9. 1998 Bundesliga-1 North
  10. 1999 Bundesliga-1 north
  11. German Baseball and Softball Federation page for Stattler
  12. 2000 Bundesliga-1 north
  13. German Baseball and Softball Federation page for Stattler
  14. 2001 Bundesliga-1 north
  15. German Baseball and Softball Federation page for Stattler
  16. 2001 European Championship data from statistician Harry Wedemeijer; German Baseball and Softball Federation page for Stattler
  17. 2002 Bundesliga-1 north
  18. 2003 Bundesliga-1 north
  19. German Baseball and Softball Federation page for Stattler
  20. 2004 Bundesliga-1 north
  21. 2005 Bundesliga-1 north
  22. 2006 Bundesliga-1 north
  23. German national team career leaders
  24. German Baseball and Softball Hall of Fame